Intel delays Dothan Pentium M

— 2:55 AM on January 15, 2004

Intel's Paul Otellini has confirmed that Dothan-core Pentium M processors have been delayed by at least a couple of months.

Validation tests turned up a glitch that would hamper the manufacturability of the chip, according to Otellini. Dothan is Intel's first notebook chip to be manufactured on a 90-nanometer process.

Although Dothan's performance was not affected by the glitch, a circuitry redesign was required, according to Otellini. That redesign caused Intel to miss its goal of beginning shipments in the past quarter, he said. Intel will offer the fix in a new version of the chip, which it calls a "stepping" internally.

The good news is that Intel already has working samples of the new stepping, but it will take a little time to ramp up production of the new chips. Otellini didn't announce any delays to Intel's upcoming 0.09-micron Prescott processor, so Dothan's problems may have nothing to do with Intel's new fabrication technology. If "manufacturability" was a concern, the problem behind Dothan's delay may have been lurking in the chip's massive 2MB L2 cache.
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